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Topic: Hi, everyone  (Read 1820 times)

Offline tsarchitect

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Hi, everyone
on: January 08, 2005, 06:27:16 PM
everyone --

I just found this site and I think it's wonderful!  I'm so glad to be in the company of such talented and informative individuals!  I just thought I'd post this as a means of introduction --

I've wanted to play since I was very little (a long time ago!), took some lessons when I was about ten years old and stopped after a few (lived in a small Bronx, New York apartment -- no space for a piano, let alone neighbors ::) ).  I was eligible to join the orchestra in grade school, but declined (no piano instruction).  After completing my education in architecture and moving to the country (upstate New York) to a modest house with room for a piano in the "den," I purchased a small Casio electronic keyboard to renew my relationship with "making music."  I then "graduated" to a Baldwin Piano Pro (another electronic "marvel" :P I had to have after seeing it demonstrated in the local Sears department store! :D ) and managed to learn to play it "on my own" without all the accompanying automatic chords and rhythms.  (At this point in time, I haven't decided whether to keep it or put it up for sale.  Anyone interested?)

Being an architect and wanting to "redesign" my own residence, I decided to convert my "under the house" garage into more living space and I created an "entertainment room."  There is where I located my Boston GP-178 almost ten years ago, and I've been enjoying it since then.  (Whenever I get a "reprieve" from my drafting board/computer screen. ;) ;)

I don't consider myself an accomplished pianist (far from it! :( )  I can read music fairly well but play mostly from "fake books" -- left-hand chords, right-hand melody --
and restrict my choice of music (sort of) to the Great American Songbook -- Gershwin, Kern, Porter, Rodgers & Hart & Hammerstein, Berlin -- that kind of thing.
Although my interest mainly lies in these "standards," I have a basic knowledge and a genuine desire to learn more about and to appreciate the works of the "masters"  -- piano as well as orchestral.  (Can I say that I'm also a fan of some Italian operas -- Puccini for the most part!)  Now, as a challenge, I would like to begin playing some "easier" classical pieces (especially Chopin).

Some of this may sound redundant -- I started a thread in "Instruments" yesterday.  If anyone is interested in sharing some similar experiences, I would like to hear from you.  Since I have some time today, after I finish this post, I'm going downstairs to play (and play and play and ---)!!! :) :) :)

tsarchitect

Offline donjuan

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #1 on: January 08, 2005, 06:54:24 PM
wow, what a great story.  Im glad you came to join the family!

Offline tsarchitect

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #2 on: January 08, 2005, 08:56:45 PM
Hi, donjuan --

Thank you for the compliment on my "great" (?) story and the welcome.  I didn't think it would elicit that kind of response! ;D   I'm more than happy to make your acquaintance as well as anyone else's in this Forum.  From what I've read so far, this looks like the place I want to be!  I hope to contribute some more as time goes on.

Are you a professional pianist?  Do you have the same interest as I in the American "standards?"  Maybe you (or anyone else here, for  that matter) can give me some tips on how to play them with a little more "style."

I've been reading the posts (lurking :P ) at another site but find that some of the stuff there is too "jazz-oriented" -- something I'm really not "into."  All the talk about "blues scales" and "artists" I never heard of (I won't mention any names, of course! ;) )  Since this seems to be a site that's more generalized (although somewhat "classical-oriented" and much more to my liking), I feel more comfortable here. :) :) 

So, I'll check in from time to time.  Thanks, all, for "listening!" :)

tsarchitect (real name -- Tom S.)  :)
 
wow, what a great story. Im glad you came to join the family!

Offline Floristan

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #3 on: January 08, 2005, 10:50:43 PM
Welcome to the forum!

So you want to play Chopin?  I'd suggest buying the preludes and the waltzes -- and maybe the mazurkas.  There are several preludes that aren't technically too challenging, like numbers 2, 4, 6, 7, & 9.  I don't have the waltzes right in front of me, but some of the later, posthumous waltzes are not too difficult.  The mazurkas are more demanding, so they may be a next step for you.  Some of them are not too difficult.

Good luck and happy playing!

Offline jazzyprof

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #4 on: January 09, 2005, 12:18:58 AM
WelcomeTom!  And what is the Boston GP-178?  Is it a grand?  Also, could you kindly share the name of that jazz oriented site where you lurk?  I am as interested in jazz as I am in classical.  I also share your interest in the Great American Songbook.  As for playing those songs with a little more style, nothing beats listening to the great interpreters like Dick Hyman and copying their stuff. In fact Dick Hyman has a multimedia CD out that looks like a great learning tool.  I don't have it yet but I plan to check it out.
"Playing the piano is my greatest joy, next to my wife; it is my most absorbing interest, next to my work." ...Charles Cooke

Offline donjuan

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #5 on: January 09, 2005, 06:16:37 AM
Hi Tom,
haha no, Im no "professional pianist"!  You can throw the pretentious talk on the pianoforum homepage right out the window!  Most of us here at the forum are music students (and not even university level at that) and teachers of varying success rates.  haha.... professional pianist... thats funny because it is so bloody difficult to make it as a performing artist.

Im not really into the American "standards"... being a Canadian and all, eh?  Im a hardcore Liszt fanatic.  (By the way, Chopin is often more difficult to read, memorize, and perform than Liszt so maybe rethink your perception of "easier" piano pieces.)

Yeah, and I guess the story isnt "great" - I was tired this morning, gimme a break!  ;D  but, I would certainly say it was interesting. 
You are an architect!  man, that is so cool!!  I would love to be an architect, but my university here doesnt offer any courses or degrees in architecture so I would have to go to the next city over.  But no way am I going to leave my family (and especially my grand piano) behind.  What kind of buildings do you design?

donjuan

Offline tsarchitect

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #6 on: January 09, 2005, 06:53:19 PM
Hi, Floristan --

Thank you for your welcome and reply.

Yes, I'm willing to attempt a foray into the world of classical piano!  Thank you for your suggestions.  I visited the www.classicalarchives.com/chopin website and found all of them free for downloading (MIDI files).  (However, you're limited to 5 free downloads daily unless you subscribe for a yearly fee of $25.)  When I have the time, I will try to find the sheet music to those I like to see if I can "hand" -le them!  (Pun definitely intended!)  I'll let you know what I think about them.  By the way, that site seems to have the complete works of Chopin, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, etc.

Thanks again --

Tom (tsarchitect)

Offline tsarchitect

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #7 on: January 09, 2005, 06:58:34 PM
Hi, jazzyprof --

Thanks to you, too, for your welcome and interest!

To answer your questions, the GP-178 is a Boston grand piano and it's truly a beautiful instrument (when it's in tune and working properly!) ;D 

The jazz-oriented site is www.learnjazzpiano.com hosted by Scot Ranney; perhaps you've heard of it?  There is a lot of useful information and discussion on it, but I think it's a little beyond my scope of playing right now.

I was happy to hear that you have an interest in the Great American Songbook  -- I thought we were a dying breed! :D :D :D   I have heard of Dick Hyman but I'm not that familiar with his work.  Since you recommend his recordings, I will check them out also.  My record collection, to be honest, is not extensive -- it mainly consists of the "classic" Frank Sinatra recordings.  Are there any other artists you can suggest?  I'm sure there are many!

Tom (tsarchitect)

Offline tsarchitect

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Re: Hi, everyone
Reply #8 on: January 09, 2005, 07:02:40 PM
Hi, donjuan --

I suppose I was under the impression that most of the people here were pretty adept at playing the piano!  I'm just a "noodler" compared to you guys and gals! :)

Thanks for your suggestion of trying to learn compositions by Liszt.  I always thought his music might be too difficult to play, based upon the very little knowledge I have of him.  (Hungarian Rhapsody # 2 comes to mind -- sounds extremely complicated -- although probably not in the same category as those you suggest.)

I accept your "apology" for the "great story" compliment :P.  My life really happens to be just as boring as my introduction! ;D   Except for maybe being an architect, which is "cool" 8) 8) 8) at times.  (But not as "cool" as "banging on the Boston.")  (Gee, that sure sounds funny!!!) ;D ;D ;D   It depends on the clients and the types of buildings I'm doing.  Right now, I have a bunch of new residences "on the board" (actually a computer screen).  Spring is coming and I'm expecting a spurt in residential construction here in upstate New York.  I hope that's true!

I feel the same way that you do -- I wouldn't leave my family or my grand piano for anything either!  :)

Tom
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